TNB Foundation presents two awards to theatre students
Fredericton, NB – The TNB Foundation has presented two awards to students pursuing careers in theatre.
Woodstock native Lee Kinney has been selected by the Theatre New Brunswick Foundation as the recipient of this year’s Stephen Graham Bird Award. Kinney is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Directing at Ohio University. In 2006, he co-founded the Valley Young Company for which he has served as Artistic Director for the past six years.
A well-known New Brunswick philanthropist and supporter of the arts, in 2005 J.W. (Bud) Bird endowed $100,000 towards the TNB Theatre School through the Stephen Graham Bird Trust in memory of his son. The Theatre New Brunswick Foundation Stephen Graham Bird Award is designed to recognize and encourage New Brunswick students who have demonstrated exceptional talent and potential, and who are pursuing a career in the theatre. The $3,000 award is granted each year to a student who has been accepted or is currently enrolled in a recognized Theatre Arts institution as a full time student.
This year marks the inaugural year of the Patrick Clark Award for Production & Design endowed by outgoing TNB Foundation Chair Claire McCain. Patrick Clark is TNB’s Resident Set and Costume Designer and recipient of 2011 Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for High Achievement in the Arts (Performing Arts -Theatre). The award established in his name will be given to a promising student training in production or design.
“Each year I have been impressed with the strong applications we receive from both performing artists and technical artists,” says McCain. “I felt the time had come to establish an award that specifically recognizes technical achievement. I wanted to name it for Patrick in view not only of his enormous creative contribution to theatrical design but also because of his deep commitment to mentorship of young artists.”
Crystal Laffoley of Bathurst is the first recipient of this award. Laffoley is entering her third and final year of the Production Program at the National Theatre School. In addition to her strong technical training, Laffoley is particularly interested in bringing theatre training and production opportunities to smaller communities in New Brunswick.
“We received many wonderful applications from New Brunswick students furthering their professional theatre training,” says TNB Foundation Chair Ilkay Silk. “Every year we are seeing more and more New Brunswick students pursuing training and careers in theatre. The passion and commitment for theatre excellence is clear. We’re pleased to be able to help both Lee and Crystal pursue their training.”